Family Counseling

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Family counseling can help families in difficult circumstances return to a healthy state. Working with families requires different intervention strategies than working with individuals. When working with families, social workers focus on the family structure, communication, and dynamics between family members. Social workers select intervention strategies that suit the family structure and circumstances. There are many strategies used in family counseling such as I messages, education, and working with a subset of family members. There are strengths and limitations to any intervention strategy that a social worker might use to counsel a family. Therefore, it is critical to be knowledgeable of various family intervention strategies. When selecting an intervention strategy, social workers should assess the needs and circumstances of the family to find the best intervention strategy.

For this assignment, review the case studies that present families in difficult circumstances  review intervention strategies that a social worker might use to work with the family. Consider the strengths and limitations of the intervention strategy you selected. a brief description of the case study you selected. Then, describe one intervention strategy outlined in the Learning Resources and explain how you might use that particular strategy to address the family circumstances. Finally, explain one strength and one limitation of using the strategy you selected from the Learning Resources to work with the family. Given the plethora of family intervention strategies, share an insight about how a social worker might select an appropriate intervention for a family client.

Family Counseling
Week 6 Case Study 2: Jenna and Marcus were married six months ago. Each brought with them children from other relationships. Jenna is a 32-year-old female who was previously married, at 23, for 2 years. The marriage produced one child, Rebecca, who has been raised by her mother almost exclusively for her 8 years. She has very little contact with her biological father although he does provide financial support and sends presents on holidays and birthdays. Jenna works as a teacher, and Rebecca attends the small private school where she teaches. Marcus is 40 and has been married twice. He has twin boys from his first marriage. They are 12, and live in the same town as Jenna and Marcus with their maternal grandmother. She has had the boys since age 2. Their mother is in the military and visits and supports the boys when it is possible. When she is in the states, she does have more contact with the twins, but she does call weekly. The twins visit with Marcus regularly. He attends their school and sports activities. They have overnight visits in his home every few weekends, they often have dinner together after team practices and games, and he takes them to all medical and school appointments. They appear to be very attached to their father and have never questioned the living arrangement. Marcus’ second marriage resulted in a daughter, Mia, who is five. Mia’s mother left Marcus shortly after her birth. Marcus has raised her alone since she was 2 months. Marcus and Jenna met a year ago at a concert. Marcus stated he was immediately “taken with” Jenna. He stated he was not intending to get married again after two failed attempts, but he also felt that as the relationship progressed that he did not want to set a bad example for the children. Jenna did not date much since her marriage ended. She admits to being concerned, since her last marriage included physical violence. However, once she and Rebecca met and spent time with Marcus and the children, she was very hopeful about the relationships. Their dating relationship was a bit chaotic with many events including the children and their activities. Until the marriage, the family had not lived in one household. There did not appear to be any issues between the children and everything seemed “very easy” according to Jenna. Jenna and Rebecca moved into Marcus’ home which was larger after the marriage. Over the last few months, Jenna has been upset over the status of the family. Rebecca and Mia were to share a room, leaving a room for the boys. However, Mia does not want to move so the boys sleep in the living room when they visit, and this creates a mess in the family area, which makes Jenna very uncomfortable. When the issue of sharing a room is brought up, Mia whines and Marcus agrees to see what he can work out. He states he would like to add on a bedroom. However, in the meantime, the boy’s items are stored in the garage, and they feel out of place. They have started coming over less often and this bothers Marcus. Jenna also wants to begin to establish house rules and chores for the girls and the boys when they are present. She also feels that both she and Marcus should correct the children when they misbehave, and all children should follow the same rules and receive the same consequences. Marcus agrees with her when they discuss it, but in practice he does not support this. Mia only responds to her father’s directions and asks him for permission to do things. He does not discuss this with Jenna. Last week, she asked to go to stay with the twins at the Grandmother’s overnight, and he allowed her to do so. Jenna felt this made Rebecca aware that she has no extended family, and she cried for hours. Jenna tried to explain this to Marcus, and he raised his voice for the first time ever telling her to give the kids a “break.” Jenna is concerned that this blended family may have some early difficulties. She and Marcus come to see you for counseling.

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